Shakhtar Donetsk vs. PSG: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV Info

Andrew Gibney@@gibney_aFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2015

PSG's Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring during the  French League One soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Guingamp, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

After tackling a tough run of fixtures in Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain travel to Ukraine looking to make it two wins from two in the Champions League as they face Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night.

The game will be played at the Arena Lviv, just 1,200 kilometres west of the Donbass Arena, due to the issues that currently plight the city of Donetsk. It reduces PSG’s journey a little, but that won’t make it any easier a task for Laurent Blanc’s men.

Speaking to PSG TV before the game, Edinson Cavani—who scored against Nantes on Saturday—knows Wednesday will be a tough test:

Shakhtar are a team who are used to playing in European competition.

They regularly qualify for the Champions League. Shakhtar have shown that they're a well-organised club with lofty ambitions. There's a lot of hard work involved in reaching that status. We'll need to work hard to prepare for this match and then do what we need to do on Wednesday.

Mircea Lucescu’s side shook off the 4-0 defeat to Real Madrid in Matchday 1 with two league wins and progression in the cup—scoring 10 goals and conceding just twice.

Shakhtar qualified by finishing second in the Ukrainian Premier League last season, and with nine games played, they find themselves in the same position this campaign, just three points behind Dynamo Kyiv. Both sides meet on October 16, and this will be a great test for club before that huge league game.

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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Time: 7:45 p.m. BST (2:45 p.m. ET)

Venue: Arena Lviv, Lviv

TV Info: BT Sport (UK), Fox Soccer (U.S.)

Live Stream: BT Sport (UK)

Form Lines 

Last Five Results
Shakhtar DonetskParis Saint-Germain
Olimpik Donetsk 2-3 Shakhtar (League)Nantes 1-4 PSG (Ligue 1)
Ternopil' 0-5 Shakhtar (Cup)PSG 3-0 Guingamp (Ligue 1)
Shakhtar 2-0 Stal Dniprodzerzhynsk (League)Stade de Reims 1-1 PSG (Ligue 1)
Real Madrid 4-0 Shakhtar (Champions League)PSG 2-0 Malmo (Champions League)
Metalist 0-5 Shakhtar (League)PSG 2-2 Bordeaux (Ligue 1)

Predicted Formations

On Monday, Blanc named a 21-man squad for the trip to Lviv, and he will be happy that all of his big-name players are available. Apart from third-choice goalkeeper, Nicolas Douchez, there are no injury or suspension concerns for the Parisians.

Although PSG need to prepare for Le Classique on Sunday, expect a full-strength XI from Blanc on Wednesday night.

Shakhtar need to kick off their Champions League campaign with a positive result, and Lucescu will likely line-up in his normal 4-2-3-1 formation. Taras Stepanenko is suspended after his red card against Real Madrid, he will possibly be replaced by Maksim Malyshev.

Brazilian trio Marlos, Alex Teixeira and Taison should play behind Ukraine international Oleksandr Gladkiy—with former Arsenal striker Eduardo starting on the bench.


Shakhtar Donetsk (4-2-3-1): Andriy Pyatov; Darijo Srna, Olexandr Kucher, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Marcio Azevedo; Fred, Maksym Malyshev; Marlos, Alex Teixeira, Taison; Olexandr Gladkiy


PSG (4-3-3): Kevin Trapp; Serge Aurier, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell; Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti, Blaise Matuidi; Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Player to Watch

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 22: Blaise Matuidi of PSG in action during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain FC (PSG) and EA Guingamp at Parc des Princes stadium on September 22, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

During Saturday’s 4-1 win over FC Nantes, when PSG were behind throughout most of the first half, the camera kept panning to France international Blaise Matuidi.

Blanc rested the 28-year-old, but you could see from his expression on the bench that he was desperate to be on the pitch. There is little doubt he will be back in from the start on Wednesday, and his drive and industry, plus the quality of his left foot, will be vital to PSG’s chances.

"Their team is comprised of very technically gifted players," the France midfielder told PSG TV. "I think that it will be a beautiful match. We'll need to try to starve them of possession, because they're not used to that. It will be a tough match, and we'll need to be vigilant. In any event, we'll do all we can to go there and get the win."

Key Battle

Shakhtar's Donetsk Olexandr Gladkiy (up) vies with Rapid Wien's Stephan Auer during the UEFA Champions League playoff football match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Rapid Wien at Arena Lviv Stadium in Lviv on August 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY

Shakhtar have lost only three of the last 16 home games in the UEFA Champions League—winning eight. To have any chance of winning their ninth, they will need to find a way to contain PSG’s star-studded attack.

Cavani has scored 16 goals in his last 15 Ligue 1 games, plus Di Maria has three goals and three assists in his last six games. Ibrahimovic is still trying to find his best form, but he thrives on performing in this competition.

Lucescu will be deciding who replaces the suspended Stepanenko; he will also be considering who should start in defence. Kucher and Rakitskiy are his first-choice, but 23-year-old Ivan Ordets has played in the league as of late.

However, the defender was sent off in the 3-2 away win over Olimpik Donetsk—which will give the coach doubts over whether he would be the right choice for stopping PSG’s triple-threat.

Odds (via Odds Shark)

Home: 353-100

Draw: 263-100

Away: 10-13